Pink Floyd – Arnold Layne

I’ve been listening to the Syd Barrett era of Pink Floyd and ran across this one. You can hear the later Pink Floyd in this. 

This was Pink Floyd’s debut single in 1967. 

Syd Barrett wrote this about a true story….a cross-dresser who he called “Arnold Layne” who used to steal bras and panties from clotheslines in Cambridge, England. Barrett lived near Roger Waters growing up. Their mothers both lost underwear to Arnold Layne.

Of course Radio London banned this song, since it was about a man who steals women’s undergarments. Surprisingly BBC played it,saying they either didn’t have a problem with this particular subject matter or didn’t understand it…probably the latter. 

The song peaked at #20 in the UK in 1967. 

In the promotional materials to accompany the single, the band’s record company, EMI, wrote: “Pink Floyd does not know what people mean by psychedelic pop and are not trying to cause hallucinatory effects on their audience.”

The promotional black-and-white music video displayed the band with Syd Barrett. It shows Pink Floyd goofing around with a mannequin on the beach in East Wittering, West Sussex, England in late February 1967 ahead of the song’s release the following month.

Roger Waters:  ‘Both my mother and Syd’s mother had students as lodgers because there was a girl’s college up the road so there was constantly great lines of bras and knickers on our washing lines.’ In one curious incident, the bras and knickers that hung on the washing lines in the Barrett’s garden proved irresistible to a local underwear fetishist. This character, whom Barrett would later immortalize in song as Arnold Layne, made off with many of poor nursing students’ undergarments, presumably to indulge his fantasies. ‘Arnold or whoever he was, had bits and pieces off our washing lines. They never caught him. He stopped doing it after a bit, when things got too hot for him.’ ‘I was in Cambridge at the time I started to write the song,’ Syd Barrett told *Melody Maker*. ‘I pinched the line about “moonshine washing line” from Roger because he had an enormous washing line in the back garden of his house. Then I thought “Arnold must have a hobby” and it went on from there. Arnold Layne just happened to dig dressing up in women’s clothing.’

From Songfacts

The group was set to make their Top Of The Pops debut with a performance of this song in April 1967, but were dropped when it fell three places on the UK chart that week. They first appeared on the show July 6, performing “See Emily Play.”

Barrett was the group leader and an excellent songwriter, but he did a lot of drugs and lost his mind over the next year, becoming England’s first high-profile acid casualty. He was kicked out of the band the next year, replaced by David Gilmour.

Before the band came out at their shows in the late ’80s, this played while video of Pink Floyd in 1967 was shown on the giant screens.

This had a blues sound the band was known for. Pink Floyd’s name originated from Syd Barrett. His two favorite blues artists, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, appeared to him in what he referred to as a “vision,” giving Syd the idea for the name. 

The song made an unexpected appearance in the live sets of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour during his 2006 tour promoting his solo album, On an Island. Later in the year, two live recordings of the song, from Gilmour’s On an Island shows at the Royal Albert Hall were released as a live single, which peaked at #19 on the UK singles chart. One version had guest vocals by David Bowie, the other by Floyd’s Richard Wright.

Arnold Layne

Arnold Layne
Had a strange hobby
Collecting clothes
Moonshine washing line
They suit him fine

On the wall
Hung a tall mirror
Distorted view
See through baby blue
He done it, oh, Arnold Layne
It’s not the same,
It takes two to know
Two to know
Two to know
Two to know
Why can’t you see?

Arnold Layne
Arnold Layne
Arnold Layne, Arnold Layne

Now he’s caught
A nasty sort of person
They gave him time
Doors bang, chain gang
He hates it
Oh, Arnold Layne
It’s not the same
It takes two to know
Two to know
Two to know
Two to know
Why can’t you see?

Arnold Layne
Arnold Layne
Arnold Layne

Arnold Layne, don’t do it again

Pink Floyd – See Emily Play

Recently I’ve been listening to some early Pink Floyd. This was quite a bit different from their more famous 70s-80s output. I like what I’ve heard so far from the Syd Barret days.

Syd Barrett wrote this…he was one of the band’s original members and the group’s leader. He became very unpredictable, sometimes refusing to play at shows.

Barrett claimed “Emily” was a girl he saw when he woke up one night after sleeping in the woods after a gig. It is unclear if she was a real person or a drug-induced hallucination.

David Gilmour was asked by the members of Pink Floyd to join the band to supplement the guitar work of the increasingly erratic Syd Barrett. For a brief time, Syd and David were both members of Pink Floyd at the same time. When Barrett’s mental breakdown made it impossible for him to continue with the group, Gilmour became a permanent, contributing member in time for their second album, 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets. Syd Barrett contributed one track to that album, his last with Pink Floyd. Syd departed the band soon after that.

The song peaked at #6 in the UK, #134 in Billboard, and #25 in Germany in 1967.

From Songfacts

This was Pink Floyd’s second single. Their first was “Arnold Layne.”

Barrett did the slide guitar work on this song with a Zippo lighter (he used it as a slide, not to set the guitar on fire). 

The original title was “Games For May.” They performed it live a few times before changing it.

This is an example of the psychedelic sound Pink Floyd was known for. Over the next few years, they tried to lose the psychedelic image because they wanted people to know there was much more to their music.

This was included on the 2001 Pink Floyd retrospective album, Echoes. The tracks flow seamlessly together.

The song was inspired in part by 15-year-old schoolgirl Emily Young, who was the daughter of Wayland Young, 2nd Baron Kennet. She recalled to Mojo:

“On Friday night at the Saints Hall, the regular band was the Pink Floyd Sound. I was more into R&B, so their dreamy hippie thing wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but it was interesting. And the light show was wonderful, and I liked to get stoned and dance. After playing, we’d sit around on grey sofas and pass around joints. I was quite pretty and word got out that I was a lord’s daughter, and apparently the guys in the band called me the ‘psychedelic schoolgirl.'”

“See Emily Play” began life as a Syd Barrett song written for Pink Floyd’s concert-cum-happening Games For May at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on May 12, 1967. Emily missed the event but someone told her all about it. She recalled: “I thought, gosh, that’s nice, a song with my name, but I didn’t think it was about me. And I don’t think it was now because Syd and me didn’t have a love affair and he didn’t really know me. It could have been some other girl who played a part in his dream. It could have been Jenny, but Emily scanned better.”

See Emily Play

Emily tries but misunderstands, ah ooh
She’s often inclined to borrow somebody’s dreams till tomorrow
There is no other day
Let’s try it another way

You’ll lose your mind and play
Free games for May
See Emily play

Soon after dark Emily cries, ah ooh
Gazing through trees in sorrow hardly a sound till tomorrow
There is no other day
Let’s try it another way
You’ll lose your mind and play

Free games for May
See Emily play

Put on a gown that touches the ground, ah ooh
Float on a river forever and ever, Emily (Emily)

There is no other day
Let’s try it another way
You’ll lose your mind and play
Free games for May
See Emily play

Pink Floyd – Money—- Songs That Reference Money 1973

WordPress decided not to place this in the reader…so I’ll try reposting it. Sorry if you have already seen this one.

This week I’m going to feature songs that cover that certain thing we all need to survive…money…John Lennon might disagree.

As a bass player, it’s nice to hear songs like this where bass plays the main riff. I’m not a huge Pink Floyd fan but I do like some of their songs. Their 60s songs I like best but I grew up with this one.

Roger Waters put together the cash register tape loop that plays throughout the song. It also contains the sounds of tearing paper and bags of coins being thrown into an industrial food-mixing bowl. The intro was recorded by capturing the sounds of an old cash register on tape, and meticulously splicing and cutting the tape in a rhythmic pattern to make the “cash register loop” effect.

Like many of their songs, this was not released as a single in the UK, where singles were perceived as a sellout…but it was released as a single in Anerica in 1973.. It peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100 and #18 in Canada.

The lyrics contain a “no-no” word. “Bulls–t” was left in the original release, but their record company quickly put out a version with the word removed, which became known as the “Bull Blank” version.

 

From Songfacts

This song is about the bad things money can bring. Ironically, it made Pink Floyd lots of cash, as the album sold over 34 million copies.

This is often misinterpreted as a tribute to money. Many people thought the line “Money, it’s a gas,” meant they considered money a very good thing.

The song begins in an unusual 7/8 time signature, then during the guitar solo the song changes to 4/4, then returns to 7/8 and ends in 4/4 again. When Guitar World February 1993 asked Dave Gilmour where the famous time signature for “Money” came from, the Pink Floyd guitarist replied: “It’s Roger’s riff. Roger came in with the verses and lyrics for ‘Money’ more or less completed. And we just made up middle sections, guitar solos and all that stuff. We also invented some new riffs – we created a 4/4 progression for the guitar solo and made the poor saxophone player play in 7/4. It was my idea to break down and become dry and empty for the second chorus of the solo.”

Roger Waters is the only songwriter credited on this, but the lead vocal is by David Gilmour. Waters provided the basic music and lyrics, while the whole band created the instrumental jam of the song. Gilmour was the one overseeing time change and responsible the acclaimed guitar solo. Rick Wright and Nick Mason.

Many studio effects were used on this song. They were using a new 16-track recorder, which allowed them to layer sounds much easier, but complex studio techniques like this still took a long time to do in 1973, as there weren’t digital recorders and samplers available like we have today. If you wanted to copy and paste something, you had to do it the hard way – with a razor blade and splicing tape.

Bands like The Beatles had used tape loops, but never like this. The tape loop used on this was about 20 feet long, and if you’ve ever seen a reel-to-reel tape machine, you can imagine how hard it was to keep it playing. In order to get the right tension and continuously feed the machine, they set up the loop in a big circle using microphone stands to hold it up. It was fed through the tape machine and played throughout the song.

The album was engineered by famed British producer and studio genius Alan Parsons at Abbey Road Studios, where he also worked with The Beatles. Parsons later started his own band called The Alan Parsons Project and scored a hit in the ’80s with “Eye In The Sky.”

Speaking with Songfacts about the studio habits of The Beatles and Pink Floyd, Parsons said: “They both liked to use the studio to its fullest, and they were always looking for new effects and new sounds. That was the beauty of working with those guys: There were always new horizons to discover in sound.” >>

Along with “Us And Them,” this is one of two songs on the album to use a saxophone, which was played by Dick Parry. The band wanted to experiment with new sounds on these sessions.

As happens throughout Dark Side of the Moon, random voices come in at the end. Waters drew up flashcards with deep philosophical questions on them, then showed them to people around the studio and taped their answers. The ones they liked made the album. Among the people questioned: a doorman, a roadie, and Paul McCartney. Most contributions were not used, but McCartney’s guitarist at the time, Henry McCullough, made the final cut with his answer, “I don’t know; I was really drunk at the time.”

Due to a record company dispute, they had to re-record this for their 1981 greatest hits album, A Collection Of Great Dance Songs (the title is a joke. You can’t dance to Floyd). There are very subtle differences between this version and the original.

If you start the CD on the third roar of the MGM lion, this begins just as the film goes to color in The Wizard Of Oz.

A cultural difference in the song: the reference to the “football team.” In America, the sport is known as soccer.

There is a scene in The Wall where the main character (Pink) is a student in school, and the teacher catches him writing a poem instead of doing the work he was supposed to be doing. The teacher reads the poem out loud, and it is this song. He makes the student look like a fool and everyone in the classroom laughs at him. The teacher then tells him “It’s rubbish laddy, now get back to work!” It probably symbolizes the way that we are raised almost uniform-like throughout our entire lives, starting in school. This is a theme of the movie. 

The line, “Money, so they say, is a root of all evil today” is a paraphrase from the New Testament – 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” 

In 2002, a group called The Easy Star All-Stars recorded a reggae version of the album called Dub Side Of The Moon. On this song, the sounds of money were replaced by sounds of someone smoking from a water-based marijuana delivery device (OK, a bong).

A group called Reloaded, made up of former Guns N’ Roses members with Scott Weiland from The Stone Temple Pilots as lead singer, recorded this for the 2003 movie The Italian Job.

This was the first project for the group, which eventually changed its name to Velvet Revolver.

The cash register loop and bass line at the introduction to this song are used in a radio show that plays in the US, The Dave Ramsey Show. The show offers financial advice to struggling people, so the song ties in well. >>

In the documentary The Making of Dark Side of the Moon, it was revealed that Roger Waters wrote this in his garden, and the original demo version was described by him as being “Prissy and very English.” >>

In Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film Reservoir Dogs, this song was originally intended to be used in a specific opening sequence. However, after hearing the song “Little Green Bag” by the George Baker Selection, Tarantino decided to use it instead because he it gave him an extreme sense of nostalgia. >>

Guitar World asked Gilmour if he was purposely trying to get away from just playing a 12 bar blues on guitar. He replied: “No, I just wanted to make a dramatic effect with the three solos. The first solo is ADT’d – Artificially Double Tracked. I think I did the first two solos on a Fender Stratocaster, but the last one was done on a different guitar – a Lewis, which was made by some guy in Vancouver. It had a whole two octaves on the neck, which meant I could get up to notes that I couldn’t play on a Stratocaster.”

Asked by Uncut in 2015 if there’s a song that reminds him of Roger Waters, David Gilmour replied: “‘Money.’ I’m not talking about the lyric. Just the quirky 7/8 time reminds me of Roger. It’s not a song I would have written. It points itself at Roger.”

Money

Money, get away
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team

Money, get back
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack
Money, it’s a hit
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet

Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise that they’re
Giving none away, away, away